John Constantine (Arrowverse)
John Constantine is a fictional character in The CW's Arrowverse franchise, introduced in the 2014 first episode of the NBC television series Constantine. The character is based on the DC Comics character of the same name, created by Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, Rick Veitch and John Totleben and was adapted for television in 2014 by Daniel Cerone, and David S. Goyer. John Constantine has been continually portrayed by Matt Ryan.
|Portrayed by||Matt Ryan|
|Affiliation||Legends of Tomorrow|
Constantine was originally separate from the Arrowverse franchise, however following the show's cancellation, Constantine appeared on the fourth season of the The CW's Arrow, retroactively establishing Constantine as part of the Arrowverse. Constantine would later appear as a recurring character during the third season of Legends of Tomorrow, before being upgraded to a main cast member in its fourth.
Fictional character biographyEdit
Constantine journeys across America alongside his friend Chas Chandler and a young woman named Zed Martin who is being hunted down by a demon. Along the way, he solves supernatural mysteries, vanquishes demons, and clashes with officious angels sent to watch over him while protecting the world from the "Rising Darkness". He is also haunted by the memory of Astra Logue, a young girl he condemned to hell with a botched exorcism.
Constantine first appears on the Arrowverse on Arrow in the show's fourth season. In flashbacks, Oliver Queen meets Constantine during his fourth year away from Star City when he assists Constantine in retrieving a magical artifact from Lian Yu. In the present, Constantine assists Oliver in performing a 'reverse exorcism' to restore the soul of the recently-resurrected Sara Lance. Later, Oliver mentions that Constantine has gone to Hell; after returning, John puts Oliver in touch with Esrin Fortuna.
Legends of TomorrowEdit
Constantine returns to the Arrowverse in the third season of Legends of Tomorrow, when he offers the team advice on dealing with the supernatural as they hunt the demon Mallus, whose other-dimensional prison has been weakened after the Legends were forced to interfere in their own history to stop the Legion of Doom. After the Legends defeat Mallus by deliberately breaking his prison open so that they can confront him directly, Constantine reveals that their actions have unleashed a wave of exorcised demons and other supernatural monsters. In the fourth season, he joins the team as their magical expert as they hunt the new monsters across history, but it is revealed that he is on the run from a supernatural creature hunting him as a consequence of his past actions. During a visit to 1970s London, Constantine visits his parents' pub and attempts to prevent his own birth to save his mother's life, but the timeline automatically prevents him doing so, forcing him to leave unable to affect his dark family history. Constantine attempts to use time travel to change history to save the life of Desmond, a former lover who sacrificed himself to save Constantine from the demon Neron, but when this creates increasingly twisted timelines, Constantine accepts the need to restore the original timeline and comes clean to the rest of the team about his issue with Neron. Constantine eventually manages to save Desmond by luring Neron out of his body. However, when Neron takes control of his Legends teammate Ray Palmer, Constantine enters hell in order to save him. In hell, Constantine meets Astra, who has grown up and refuses to be saved by him. After recovering Ray's soul, Constantine tricks Neron into breaking his own word, forcing the demon out of Ray's body, before finally killing him.
Creation and developmentEdit
A TV adaptation starring John Constantine was first announced on September 26, 2013. The series would be developed by Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, and air on NBC. Welsh actor Matt Ryan was cast as Constantine on February 21, 2014. According to Goyer, Constantine's portrayal on the show would stick closer to the source material than the 2005 feature film did, which included portraying the character as blonde and British. According to pilot episode director Neil Marshall, Constantine would not be allowed to smoke on the show due to network restrictions, though the character was shown to smoke on the show itself. A decision not to explore Constantine's bisexuality in the show caused some consternation with fans, although the character continued to be portrayed as bisexual in the comics. Despite a positive reaction from fans, poor ratings led to the show being cancelled after thirteen episodes.
In August 2015, it was announced that Ryan would appear as Constantine on Arrow in the fourth season episode "Haunted", per a "one-time-only" deal." Season four co-showrunner Wendy Mericle confirmed that this version of Constantine would be the same character that had appeared in the NBC series.
Ryan's involvement on Legends of Tomorrow was first announced on October 9, 2017, to appear in a two-part arc during the show's third season; specifically, episodes 9 and 10. According to executive producer Phil Klemmer, having Ryan reprise his "iconic [and] legendary role" is something that he and Marc Guggenheim had been working toward since the show's first season. Regarding Constantine's inclusion on the show, Klemmer stated that "an alienated, chain-smoking, bisexual, world-weary demonologist would feel right at home among our Legends". Ryan was promoted to series regular for the fourth season of Legends of Tomorrow. Ryan spoke to the relationship between the character seen in the NBC series and the one seen on Legends of Tomorrow and in the Arrowverse. He said the two were the same character with "the same DNA", and likened each appearance to that of different comic book writers and artists working with the character: "He has the same outline, but he looks different. The hair is slightly different. He has a slightly different cadence sometimes. Different artists and different writers write him in different ways." Ryan also noted that while the fourth season of Legends of Tomorrow mentions the Astra storyline from the NBC series, it would not explore the Brujeria storyline, though Constantine "still carries that baggage around with him".
- "Haunted". Arrow. Season 4. Episode 5. November 4, 2015. The CW.
- "The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 3. Episode 18. April 9, 2018. The CW.
- "The Virgin Gary". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 1. October 22, 2018. The CW.
- "Dancing Queen". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 3. November 5, 2018. The CW.
- "Legends of To-Meow-Meow". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 8. December 10, 2018. The CW.
- "The Eggplant, the Witch & the Wardrobe". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 12. April 22, 2019. The CW.
- "Nip/Stuck". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 14. May 6, 2019. The CW.
- "Terms of Service". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 15. May 13, 2019. The CW.
- "Hey, World!". Legends of Tomorrow. Season 4. Episode 16. May 20, 2019. The CW.
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